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The ‘good news’ about vaccinations and when an epidemiologist expects Australia to open up

Neil Mitchell
Article image for The ‘good news’ about vaccinations and when an epidemiologist expects Australia to open up

An epidemiologist says getting 80 per cent of Australian adults fully-vaccinated by Christmas is a “very achievable” target, but it won’t spell the end of COVID-19 restrictions.

Professorial fellow in epidemiology at Melbourne University, Tony Blakely, crunched the number at Neil Mitchell’s request.

“If we wanted to get 80 per cent by Christmas … that means Australia-wide vaccinating somewhere between 140,000 and 155,000 people per day,” Professor Blakely said.

“That’s imminently achievable. It’s not much more than we’re doing now.”

Professor Blakely says once we reach the vaccine target for adults, vaccinating kids and giving boosters, beginning with people who’ve received AstraZeneca initially, will be the focus.

“Those two things will be happening, I hope, early next year so that we’re in good shape for then opening up to the rest of the world somewhere around March or Easter next year,” he said.

But Professor Blakely says vaccination won’t mean the end of all COVID-19 restrictions.

“It’s not going to achieve herd immunity by itself, so for the next few years we are going to have to augment vaccination with mask wearing, occasional restrictions, possibly even a lockdown here and there.

“Then hopefully better technology with vaccines next year and the year after will mean we get vaccines that are even better.”

Press PLAY below to hear the full interview on when Australia will reach milestones in the fight against COVID

Neil Mitchell
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